Friday, September 18, 2015

Sorry for riding better

I've got to apologize in advance, you guys. I barely got yelled at all today. In fact, I even finished my ride on Bobby with her telling me I should be very proud of myself today. Uh, what? It was, however, nice to show her that we are competent and--dare I say--capable after feeling a little frustrated the past two weeks. Bobby's getting stronger with every ride, and he's finally starting to pass the point where it's only showing by him not falling on his face with every step.

So, with that in mind, I have far less Trainer-isms than I have in the past two weeks.

dressage horse number one.

The Walk

We actually got yelled at for being too slow finally! Bobby was not too impressed with me when I told him he had to actually start moving again. I think he was getting pretty comfortable with what was almost a counted walk.

  • A little brisker walk. It's time to make him march.
  • If he tries to duck down and curl up, give him a boot with one leg. People need to treat their horses like horses. If he's not listening to what you're telling him, give him a kick in the gut. That's what another horse would do.
  • If he locks his jaw against you like he was doing in the rubber (Happy Mouth) bit, don't be afraid to give him a little chip with one rein. 
  • That's a rather sullen expression, Bobby. 
"that's my every day face."

The Trot

I had the misfortune of being on the right rein when Trainer was ready to ask for the trot which means we started off a fucking hot mess. While BM was trotting away, I was still trying to get Bobby to soften his face at the walk. Bobby was looking for any excuse to not have to trot. I finally just got after him and away we went.
  • You got quite fierce with him when he was trying to bully you around. That's fine. Just make sure that you get equally as kind to him when he does do what you asked.
  • Oh, you are a tricky horse, aren't you?
  • Shorten and lengthen. Shorten and lengthen. I want that shortening to look almost like you're jogging in place. 
  • If you're going to wear spurs, use them.
  • Lengthen more. More...more! Well you are quite the mover after all.
"snackz plz."

The Canter

Trainer asked if there was anything specific that I wanted to work on today. I immediately answered the canter. Knowing that he's pretty bad to the right, she asked me if the left lead was even marginally better. "Oh, yeah! The left lead is amazing!" To which Trainer knowingly added, "Compared to the right, it's probably absolutely lovely." She speaks the truth. Always.
  • Alright, BM. Come in the middle. This could get exciting.
  • Lengthen and shorten the trot a few times so that you can work on adjusting him first.
  • While still trotting, bring your outside leg back and keep your inside leg at the girth just as if you were asking for the canter, but don't cue for it yet. Now sit the trot as if you're riding the canter without changing anything. And touch him with that outside spur and canter without changing anything.
  • I dare you to find anything to criticize about that!
Time out to say that I got literally the best canter transition ever in my entire life. Bobby simply stepped into the canter and carried on round, balanced, and completely in self carriage. I was grinning like a total idiot the entire time. Sometimes you just need to hear the same thing a different way for the magic to happen.

too tired to acknowledge my existence. 

And then we went to the right.
  • Sit for the canter without asking, get him a little more forward, and now canter. Oh, dear. That's--well done you!
Time out again because even though Bobby flung his head into my face on the depart, within one stride, I'd gotten him back down to earth and cantering completely presentably. Whaaaat. It only lasted two circles, but that's two more circles than we've been able to do since June. 
  • He engages his abs very well to the left. He's really lifting his back that direction. To the right, he's starting off not engaged, but he is starting to try a little toward the end. He might just get there after all.
  • We'll try to play around with lengthening and compressing that canter next week. I'd suggest not trying it until then. It could get more than exciting for you, if you know what I mean.
this is my horse who sometimes pretends like he hates me, but is secretly a mama's
boy at heart. he's not happy unless he's grazing in my lap. also, sorry you're not as good
at selfies as i am.

As promised, I also did a quick ride in front of Trainer on Ralph. She let me go around on my own w/t (having already explained to her what a hot mess I'd made of the "canter" the other day) while just observing. Ralph had been schooled by someone far more competent in his type of ride than myself the day before, so he was a little sharper.

The canter departs were a teensy, tiny bit better. His canter is still not very good, and it's very much me not knowing how the fuck to ride this midget semi truck who needs spurs buried in his side with every stride to keep him going, then gets fast, but then does a sliding stop with the smallest of half halts.

Trainer's summation of the ride is all you need:
  • What a solid citizen. He's a very nice, capable horse. He'll do very well in your lesson program, BM. He doesn't need much work done with him, you just need to train the rider to work with him better.
Whoops. Guilty as charged with the sucking.

dressage horse number two. you can tell he's a dressage horse because he's wearing
white polos. duh.


  1. d'aww sullen bobby!! sounds like an awesome lesson - congrats on progress in the canter. i shiver to think what she'd say of my own efforts lol

  2. While I'm glad there was less yelling I am a tad disappointed because your coach has the most hilarious one liners. :P

  3. Agreed with white polos equalling dressage! I like how she helped with the canter transition, will try it myself.

  4. Yeah yeah for riding better!!

    Oh that every day face is amazing Bobby!!

  5. If Bobs only knew what you said about him online....
    Yay tho!!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. isn't it great when you figure something out? best feeling!

  8. Oooh I will have to try this canter transition magic you speak of! Thanks for sharing!

    Love that white polos make a dressage horse. I'll have to try that and see if it works.

  9. I like that canter depart set up, going to try it!

    Also I had to look twice at that last photo because I thought it was distorted. That is one long animal. (No offense Ralph, you're still cute.)


If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.